Christmas Crack! Crisp and flaky saltine crackers are covered with a sweet toffee like coating, then topped with a generous layer of rich chocolate – and to spruce it up you can finish with nutty pecans or colorful sprinkles if desired. It’s a simple treat that’s sure to satisfy those chocolate cravings!
Christmas Crack Recipe – AKA Saltine Cracker Toffee
This easy and addictive Christmas Crack is a staple treat recipe that should made at least once every year when the holidays roll around.
There’s no special candy know-how or candy equipment required! Plus, it only uses a few basic pantry staple ingredients. It’s just one of those straight-forward, foolproof recipes that’s been around for decades.
You just let the sugar butter mixture boil for a few minutes, spread it over the crackers in a baking sheet, let it bake for a few minutes then dot with chocolate chips and let them melt and spread even. Let it chill and set then CRACK away. Super simple!
If you haven’t tried this ever so popular treat then now is the time! It makes great Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors and of course it’s a great thing to break out when family comes to visit on the holidays.
The only problem, I just never now when to stop eating it. This stuff is dangerous!
Ingredients Needed for Christmas Crack:
Only FIVE Ingredients Required:
- Saltine crackers – I like to use Nabisco brand. They are thicker than some other brands.
- Butter – stick with unsalted butter since there’s already salt on the crackers.
- Brown sugar – no substitutes. Granulated sugar lacks that classic toffee-like flavor brown sugar has.
- Vanilla – this adds a little background flavor. Vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste can be substituted.
- Chocolate chips – milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips work great here, just go with whichever intensity you prefer. Use real chocolate chips.
- Chopped pecans – using the nuts is my personal favorite way to make this, but the kids love sprinkles so I usually end up covering half of the chocolate with nuts then the other half with sprinkles.
- Sprinkles – I like to use red and green sprinkles at Christmas time, swap with other coordinating colors for different holidays.
- Fine sea salt – I like to taste the batch of crackers before hand, if they are mildly salty I’ll add a few pinches of sea salt to the brown sugar mixture or sprinkle over the chocolate layer.
How to Make Christmas Crack:
- Heat oven, prepare baking sheet: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed, 15 by 10 inch jelly roll baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place crackers in pan: Align crackers side by side in a single layer on baking sheet, set aside.
- Boil butter and brown sugar in pan: Add butter and brown sugar to a medium saucepan (2.5 – 3 quart). Heat mixture over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until mixture reaches a full boil. Once it boils stop stirring and let boil 3 minutes.
- Carefully stir in vanilla: Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (stand back it will sputter!).
- Pour mixture over crackers: Immediately (and carefully) pour hot mixture evenly over crackers in pan. Spread evenly with a silicone spatula as needed.
How to Make Christmas Crack Continued:
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Carefully remove from oven.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips, let melt: Sprinkle chocolate chips over coated crackers. Let rest 5 minutes to allow chocolate to melt. If after that time if it hasn’t melted, then rest for about 10 seconds in warm oven.
- Spread chocolate even: Spread chocolate into an even layer, sprinkle evenly with nuts or sprinkles if using.
- Chill to let chocolate set: Transfer to fridge and let chocolate harden, about 30 minutes, or freeze for 15 minutes.
- Crack into pieces: Remove from fridge, lift cracker from foil and break into pieces.
How to Store Christmas Crack?
After the chocolate is fully set, it can be stacked and stored in an airtight container.
Can I Use Chocolate Bars?
Yes chocolate baking bars can be used in place of chocolate chips. Just finely chop or melt before spreading over crackers.
- Be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet! It could be a disaster otherwise with boiling sugar spilling into your oven.
- Use a 15 by 10-inch size pan (I have THIS ONE – affiliate link). This is not a standard size cookie sheet, it’s a little smaller. I also use it to make cake rolls too.
- Be sure to line pan with foil and spray evenly with non-stick spray, this makes it much easier to get it out of the pan.
- Have crackers ready in prepared pan so toffee doesn’t start to set, it needs to be added to crackers right away.
- If chocolate doesn’t melt put it in the warm oven briefly and don’t walk away. If the chocolate gets to hot it can seize and it won’t have a spreadable, smooth consistency.
- Finish with white chocolate chips instead of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then you can also dust with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
- Use chopped walnuts or pistachios or sliced almonds instead of pecans.
- Decorate with festive mini M&M’s.
- Crush up Oreos or graham crackers and sprinkle over chocolate.
- After chocolate layer has set drizzle with melted white chocolate for a pretty finishing touch.
- Use graham crackers in place of saltine crackers.
- Finish with crushed toffee bits for even more toffee flavor.
More Fast and Easy Treat Recipes:
- Christmas Crunch
- Easy Fudge (Microwave or Stovetop)
- Microwave Caramels
- Microwave Toffee
- Pretzel M&M Hugs
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Crisp and flaky saltine crackers are covered with a sweet toffee like coating, then that's topped with generous layer of rich chocolate, and to spruce it up you can finish with nutty pecans or colorful sprinkles if desired. A super easy treat that's perfect for holiday parties and gifting!
- 35 saltine crackers
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or a few TBSP sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed 15 by 10-inch jelly roll sheet* (this size HERE - affiliate link) with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Align crackers in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, set aside.
Add butter and brown sugar to a medium saucepan (2.5 - 3 quart). Heat mixture over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until mixture reaches a full boil. Once it boils stop stirring and let boil 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (stand back it will sputter!).
Immediately (and carefully) hot mixture evenly over crackers. Spread evenly as needed.
Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Carefully remove from oven (this is boiling hot sugar)**.
Right away sprinkle chocolate chips over mixture. Let rest 5 minutes to allow chocolate to melt***.
Spread chocolate into an even layer using an offset spatula, sprinkle evenly with nuts or sprinkles if using.
Transfer to fridge and let chocolate harden, about 30 minutes, or freeze for 15 minutes.
Remove from fridge, lift cracker from foil and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container (I like to refrigerate though it's not a must).
- *This is not the standard size cookie sheet. It is between a half sheet and a quarter sheet. If you use the standard size sheet there won't be enough crackers and toppings will be spread too thin.
- **Once you remove crackers from oven if you find a couple are uneven or overlapping you can use a silicone spatula to move them back into place. Not super important but if you want it even.
- ***If you find after 5 minutes the chocolate just won't melt you can pop it in the oven that is off but still hot for just a few seconds. It should melt in about 10 seconds.
- Nutrition estimate does not include nuts or sprinkles.
Finish with white chocolate chips instead of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then you can also dust with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Use chopped walnuts or pistachios or sliced almonds instead of pecans.
Decorate with festive mini M&M's.
Crush up Oreos and sprinkle over chocolate.
- Try it with white chocolate and crushed candy canes.
After chocolate layer has set drizzle with melted white chocolate for a pretty finishing touch.
Use graham crackers in place of saltine crackers.
Finish with crushed toffee bits for even more toffee flavor.